Offred is a Handmaid in the country of Gilead. She is tied to a Commander, a ranked official, and serves the primary function of being impregnated by him. In this culture, women have been reduced to reproductive vessels, and their very status is centered upon that. She and the other Handmaids are forced to dress in robes and can only go outside once a day in order to shop in stores whose signs are pictures. However, in this strange broken world, getting pregnant is very difficult, but means everything. Read the sad, yet fascinating story of Offred in Margaret Attwood’s The Handmaiden’s Tale.
It took me a little while to get into this book, but ultimately I was fascinated with it. Offred is a very realistic narrator, and I think her voice conveys the situation in a true way. I liked how I could piece together the situation, but still got a strong emotional connection to those who suffered. The only thing about the book I really disliked was the historical note at the end, which I found to be a bit too meta for my taste. However, it did also add an interesting layer to the story and was not enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of the book. This book is definitely worth a read, especially given how pivotal of an issue women’s rights have become.